Exceptions made to hiring freeze

A few exceptions to St. Joseph County’s government hiring freeze were made Tuesday.

At the request of Judge David Tomlinson, commissioners allowed for the hiring of a deputy probate register for probate court’s family division. The $60,000-a-year position has been vacant for a month and cannot be absorbed by existing staff, Tomlinson said.

He said the family division has jurisdiction over a variety of matters that yield a heavy volume of documentation.

In a separate matter, various positions sought by Undersheriff Mark Lillywhite were also granted. The first was a full-time road patrol officer. With benefits, a six-year department veteran will be tapped to fill the $75,000-a-year post.

Also, two employees will be hired to replace a pair of full-time corrections officers who recently retired. In addition, Lillywhite said there is a need to fill four part-time spots, also with the corrections unit. With benefits, the positions are budgeted at $134,000 a year collectively.

Lillywhite said the jail is already understaffed and the need for corrections officers is immediate.

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